Saturday, July 8, 2017

Day 5!!!

Hey guys it's Daniel,  the youngest on the trip and i get the pleasure to talk about our day at cedar point.
 So today we took a short two hour drive to get to cedar point which went by quick, which was very nice.  Once we got there we got our tickets and split into a few different groups and i was in a group with a few other students who had a blast. We started the day with a few roller coasters and a couple other rides which we all enjoyed very much. Then later we went out to dinner at johnny rockets where we met a very nice girl named Pavlina who was really nice to us and made it an enjoyable dinner, and we gave her a very nice tip which she refused but we insisted she take it and she eventually did.
Then we went on more rides which were all a lot of fun, and we kept doing them over and over cause they were that much fun, and we had a lot of time. My group that i was in ended up staying till the park  until it closed which aloud us to do all the rides we wanted, and we ended the night with going on the one ride called the Millennium force about four to five times in a row, which was quite exhausting but it was a lot of fun.

So over all this trip was a lot of fun and i couldn't have asked for a better group to do it with, and i'm going to miss all of the seniors that went on the trip very dearly but i know that god will protect them and keep them safe through all of life that god has planned for them. It was very humbling and a lot of fun to go on this missions trip and i'm sad to say goodbye but unfortunately i have to.

Your student, Daniel

Friday, July 7, 2017

Day 4!

Hey all, Faith here--the other senior girl, also on Mike and Andrea's group. I have the pleasure of writing about Thursday, our last day of service.
You will not believe what we got to do... MORE WEEDING! Good thing we enjoy it. Our group returned to Summer in the City, an urban garden that grows produce for the people in the community. Most of the people who work there are volunteers, and it is clear to see the passion they have for their community as they work in the fields. We were tasked with weeding the tomato, eggplant, and pepper fields, each increasing in level of difficulty, respectively. Before we started, you would not have known that there was anything but weeds in that field. All I could think of was "Welcome to the Jungle" by AC/DC. They were so overgrown we needed to deliberately seek out the crop plants to avoid harming them. It makes me think about how fragile people are in a similar way. We need nurturing--water, light, someone to remove the weeds that try to choke us. Just as there is an overabundance of weeds, evil is around every corner. It plants itself and digs its roots down deep. When you try to remove them, they are stubborn as all heck. It is impossible for us to keep every weed out, but it is important to remove them before their roots grow too long. Jesus is the ultimate weed killer. With him, those weeds are far easier to remove, and they are less likely to return with a vengeance. 
It took us over two hours, but we got the job done. AC/DC no longer plagued my mind, and weeds no longer plagued the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. The rows were so open and clear it seemed as if the weeds were never there. As our fourth day of weeding, we were all exhausted, and our backs and shoulders were sore. But while we worked that did not bother us at all. God gave us the strength to get that job done. 
Getting to know the people who worked on the garden--where they were from, why they were there, and so forth--was a blessing in itself. 
After we finished at the garden, our group headed to a nearby park where we ate lunch and relaxed for a bit. I think a couple people fell asleep while some of us played a card game. It was very relaxing and, I think, well deserved. I am so proud of the work my team has accomplished this week. Every person gave it their all and then some without a single complaint. We got a lot of sun that day and the day before. A rest in the shade was a little slice of heaven.
Later in the evening, we hosted a cookout for community members. Several people came and we all just sat and ate food and talked with each other. An adorable little girl, Maya, was running around and playing with some of the students. It was a great time of community and fellowship with community members and each other.
Our large group talk went a little differently than previous nights. It started out like the others. We talked about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and how we need to humble ourselves to selflessly love one another as God loves us. When we would normally be dismissed, we were told to sit and close out eyes and think about Jesus. The YouthWorks leaders then brought out tubs of soapy water and towels; they began to wash the leaders' feet. Then our leaders washed our feet. Then we all had a real good session of crying. People were praying for each other and having in depth conversations and hugging and loving. Derrick, one of the Youth Works leaders, came around and prayed for a bunch of people. But I don't think anyone was prepared for it. He sat down next to me and prayed for everything that was on my heart, things that I had not spoked to him about or anyone else during the trip. The same happened to Abby next to me and everyone else he prayed for. I later found out that God calls him to prophesy and speak into the lives of people through God. I have never experienced such a powerful presence as I did that night.

I would love to tell you more but Josh is making me finish so we can leave. Please pray for safe travels and a good time at Cedar Point.

God bless,

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Best Day Ever? Day 3

Hey guys, it's Kevin and Ezra here, today we'll be talking about what we did during day three of our fabulous adventure.
It's Ezra, today we drove over to Greydale Farms which is about 10 minutes away from the church, we spent our day helping Brittany who is the site coordinator at their farming initiative which is focused on modeling renewable farming operations for suburban areas with the goal of reaching out to the disenfranchised youth. For the most part we helped her clear wood and create self-tilling mounds.
What's up y'all, it's Kevbot again. Yesterday my group went to a nice small self sustaining farm that is and I quote "the Largest raised bed garden in the world." We helped pull weeds to save the kale that was growing there, I never knew so many different kinds of weeds existed. One cool thing that happened was we met another group that was helping out at the farm too, we had a slight mix up with Rochester NY, and Rochester MI, but other than that, all was well.
Our night life has been very exciting during this trip, we've done many things. Last night we went out for dinner at a pizza parlor called PizzaPapalis, where Ezra and I each crushed 6 deep dish pieces of heaven. After we all ate our pizza, we proceeded to head into the city to wander. Somehow I found myself sucked into a chess game, with a man named Ronnie. At first I thought he was a hustler because he asked for $5 up front, but as we began to play, I realized he was anything but that. Ronnie proceeded to whoop me in no more than 10 moves. We played another game which I lasted longer in, but made some mistakes which he capitalized on, and ended up beating me again, it was a very humbling experience. After the chess games we started talking to him about what he was doing in the park and learned that he played chess to make money for a living. We then found ourselves locked in deep and philosophical conversation about why we were in Detroit, the state of the city, and of course, sports. He was very knowledgable in the area of sports, and was very interested to hear about the work that we were doing in Detroit. We talked about the city and what it must have been like in its prime, and how it had deteriorated and the slow climb back to its roots. Where was Josh this whole time? Why he was getting a ticket to the Tigers and Giants game... for free! He ended up not going and found us in the park, at which point we had started to wrap up our conversation with Ronnie and wish him the best of luck in wherever life would take him.
On the way we mysteriously "missed" our exit, and found ourselves in a Wendy's drive thru to get Frosty's. By this time our bones were aching and our heads drooping, we finally made our way back to the church and like the night before Christmas, all through the house, there was not a sound, not even a mouse.
In short, while the work that we do at the farms is important, it is very fulfilling to minister and meet the cistizens of Detroit, to learn from and speak into their lives about the love of God and their love for their city.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Detroit Day 2/July 4th

A difficult wake-up after yesterday's hard work, we all gathered together for our second day of breakfast here at St. Timothy's. While fatigue may have set deep within our bones, we were blessed to have a shorter work day due to the 4th of July. All of us were designated to work at the Michigan United Farming Initiative (MUFI), a non-profit dedicated to growing crops for the community and promoting sustainable living. There we met Tyson, the head of the initiative, and Jack, an intern currently working on the farm.
During our shortened time, we worked to uproot weeds, plant new crops, and water surrounding ones as needed. Working separately on these tasks, we eventually all came together to help plant ornamental grass along a fence by a recently acquired house meant for future interns. After wiping the sweat off our brows and dusting ourselves off, we broke for lunch. Sitting on various benches, we discussed our next course of action.
After finishing up, we thanked Tyson and Jack for giving us work to do and being so gracious with everything. Packing into our vans, we set out to visit an African bead/art museum. With exhibits entirely outside, we walked around, taking in all that it had to offer. The main attraction was the mural on both a giant house and a wall behind it. On it, shards of mirrors were plastered alongside other materials to create an enormous glittering exposition. Afterwards, we visited a gift shop full of beads and other pieces of jewelry, which some of the students bought.
Unfortunately, we realized that because it was the 4th of July, we would not be able to take a shower at a recreational center or a YMCA. However, the staff and adult leaders found a way to get us all wet and have a lot of fun. Shouting about some sort of surprise in the parking lot, we all hobbled over, only having just woken up from our naps, only to find a bucket full of water balloons in the middle of the lot. You can probably figure out what happened from there.
After we all dried off, we ate dinner and went through our Large Group Gathering a little earlier and a little quicker because we were all going to the beach! Situated on Belle Isle, it wasn't quite the sprawling beaches you see on T.V, but it was definitely enough for us. When we got there, a lot of people were already there for their own 4th of July celebrations. We got right to it, building sand castles and jumping into the water. Fireworks greeted us as it got darker, lighting up the sky as the sun set.
While today might have been a short work day, it was in no way a lack of things to do. God has really made sure that we have so much to do, making sure we don't get too complacent, while at the same time giving us time to rejuvenate and prepare for what's coming next.

Hoping for good things in today's work, gotta wrap this up so I can get to my devos.
Keep praying for us!
-David Kim

Monday, July 3, 2017

Detroit Day 1

     Hi everyone! Abby here, one of the two senior girls. I was recruited to talk about my experiences on our first full day in Detroit! I'm in Mike and Andrea's group, and today we worked with an organization called "Neighbors Building Brightmoor", which is formed of a group of community members who live in the Brightmoor area and want to keep the area as safe and beautiful as possible. In particular, we worked with a man named Jacob, whom you will find out more about later on.
     After a somewhat sleepless night full of deflating air mattresses and alarms going off at 1 am, my group was in charge of breakfast prep. We rotate helping to prepare and clean up breakfast and dinner, which we've never done before on a missions trip and which I find really humbling. After breakfast we did devos and then had a quick run down of what our day would look like. My group (the Tigers) headed off to meet Jacob, and met him at his home. We were split up into different tasks, some pulling up sod and helping with the garden up front, and others cleaning up a pile of insect-infested logs and sticks. I was in the latter, and honestly, I was a little concerned about the infestation. However, everything was picked up and moved to a dump pile without much hassle; we used both wheelbarrows and simple elbow grease to accomplish it in quite a quick time, including having a competition to see who could stomp on the most bugs.
     We finished moving the log pile within an hour, and so we switched jobs to moving wood chips from a pile in the back to the driveway/garden in the front. It was a huge pile of wood chips, mushrooms, and a few random wires. Myself and Daniel Wart, then later Kayla Carson, were scooping the wood chips into wheelbarrows using pitchforks, and Mike Pitts and Kayla, then Daniel, were wheeling them back and forth between our lot at the very back of Jacob's yard and the front of his property. Although it was very hot once the sun came out, and the wood chip pile smelled...interesting, everyone turned out to be great sports and really willing to help (we are a bunch of fungis... sorry, but there wasn't mushroom anywhere else for a pun).
     After we had finished with the wood chip pile and the group up front had finished their tasks, we moved two blocks to a community garden that we later found out had been started by Jacob's father, who was commemorated in a painting on an abandoned building next door. We also found out that his father had died a couple of years before, and he had grown up in the house right across the street from this lot we were working in. Our tasks at this site were mostly weeding and cleaning as much as possible (in the words of Faith Cheehan, "All thistles must die!"). This area was touching for me because we could see how much love Jacob had for the plot, the area, even the entire city. Even though everything had become ridden with weeds and was completely overgrown, he saw the potential and the beauty in it, which made me think of how God is the same way with us-- if we become caught up in the world or tangled up in evil, he's right there hacking away at the weeds and risking getting a thistle stuck in his hand along the way.
     After completing our jobs at the site, we headed off to a rec center for some much-needed showers, and then came back to St. Timothy's and ate dinner before setting off on a downtown scavenger hunt. One thing I find interesting about YouthWorks is that they don't just want us to serve, they want us to understand the people we're serving. So, as you know Browncroft youth group isn't at all competitive, and so it was a very calm, very dignified and leisurely stroll down the streets of Detroit... not at all a race down the highway to see who could get there first and "no one" honked (I think Josh is going to read this, so quotes). Everyone (miraculously) arrived to our meeting point safe and sound, and we set off on our scavenger hunt, checking off such things as the Bible verse on the Spirit of Detroit statue, waving to Canada, and throwing a penny in a fountain). Not to be biased at all about the winners, but Tigers forever! We won both the race-not-race and the scavenger hunt, but it's all forgotten now and I hear screams of Euchre in the other room.
     I realize this was really lengthy, but I wanted all of our supporters to understand both the struggles and the triumphs and just plain old fun we've experienced thus far. I saw God everywhere, from my teammates to our leaders to the city itself. Yes, Detroit is broken, but you can see the beauty in it, and the hope and vitality in the city and the people. I personally can't wait for what tomorrow brings, and I know I speak for all of us when I say we deeply appreciate all your prayers and support, and we miss you and can't wait to tell you everything when we get home! Lights out is in 12 minutes, and I'm exhausted from a very busy day, so again thank you-- we've seen God already so much in this trip, and it's only the first day!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

We have arrived

Hey everyone!

We are here in Detroit! Air Mattresses blown up and everything unpacked. Thanks so much for your prayers today. We didn't have any issues traveling or at the border! Heading upstairs to meet our YouthWorks team and get ready for dinner.

Keep the prayers coming as we find out our schedule for the week and begin bright and early tomorrow morning!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Hey Everyone!
We are heading off to Detroit in just a few days on Sunday Morning! Please be sure to check back for trip updates once the trip starts. We are so excited to see how God is going to be using us on this trip!